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Getting things done with Jeremy Searle
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 26 août 2009
Photo Christina Grolmuss
Jeremy Searle will try to regain his seat in the NDG district of Loyola for the November 1st election.
It is sometimes hard to believe that politicians arise from the ordinary people. Could it be for example that the candidate for borough councilor works in a London-style café, standing behind the counter, wearing an apron, preparing tea, and serving the clients? In the case of Jeremy Searle, an independent candidate for the Loyola district of CDN-NDG, the answer to this question is a simple yes.

With the London Bus Café on St. Catherine Street, the Bristol-born candidate has brought a piece of the British tea culture to Montreal. Jeremy Searle has been running this business for one year now but is nevertheless still concerned with the political happenings of his city. Apart from basic issues, such as snowcleaning and garbage pickup, he wants to fight for special CDN-NDG related needs. “What we need is for example broader sidewalks on Walkley Street and Fielding. There are many immigrants that spend their time outdoors”, he says.

Generally, the emphasis should always be kept on the poor areas. The construction of the Benny Sports and Recreation Complex, for example, is a project meant to be “more for the poor people.” Apart from that, he also demands a good quality library for the residents. The trick is to include the public and to stand up for their needs. Representation and leadership are the two major tasks which Searle demands of himself to have his political projects realized.

Despite his defeat against the actual mayor Michael Applebaum in 2005, Searle seems to be more than confident for the upcoming elections on the first of November. His confidence might be surprising given that he is not supported by a major political party. “I get stuff done, I’m vicious, I never stop. That’s what makes me more relevant than other candidates,” he says.

The other candidates who run for councilor in Loyola are Susan Clark for Union Montréal, Cym Gomery for Projet Montréal and George Pentsos for Équipe Louise O’Sullivan –Parti Montréal-Ville-Marie. Searle believes in actions more than in big names. “You never hear any contentions from the big parties. If you want to have a voice, you have to be independent”, he says, explaining the advantage of his one-man-party. His confidence may also arise from his eleven years of experience as councilor of the Loyola district. Some people might remember when he painted white circles around all potholes on the street after the ice storm in 1998 which resulted in having them repaired faster.

Searle describes himself as a person who is more concerned with getting things done than with looking good on television. His actions consists of walking from door to door and talk to the residents of the district as well as making various city issues public in his petitions. His contact to the people is very close. “They usually call me and tell me what they want. And then it is up to me to make a decision about what has to be done”, he says. For the time being, people can find him standing behind the counter in his café, wearing an apron, preparing tea, and serving the clients. Just like the ordinary people.

[ Christina Grolmuss ]

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